Department of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering
Salamander Chair in Environmental Engineering
P.Eng., P.E. (State of Michigan)
B.Sc.. (University of Khartoum, Sudan) 1983
M.Sc. (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, U.S.A) 1987
Ph.D. (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, U.S.A.) 1989
DR NAKHLA'S research interests lie in the general area of environmental engineering and
water and soil pollution control. The main areas of expertise are
biological municipal and industrial wastewater treatment, biological nutrient removal processes, biological detoxification of hazardous contaminants, soil and ground water bioremediation, and landfill leachate treatment.
Dr. Nakhla has worked for many years on the biological treatment of toxic organics. Dr. Nakhla’s research activities in this area have significantly expanded to include the investigation of impact process parameters on the efficiency of in-situ bioremediation of gasoline compounds, the development of novel bioremediation approaches, and biological treatability of PCBs sludges.
Dr. Nakhla has been contributing for many years to the development of better understanding and predictive models for simultaneous biological and physiochemical removal of contaminants in fluidized-bed granular activated carbon reactors. He was among the first researchers who delineated the impact of surface chemical reactions on adsorption of various organics on activated carbon.
Dr. Nakhla’s recent research activities included the development of biological nutrient removal processes for the treatment of high strength industrial wastes including rendering wastewater, poultry processing wastes, tomato processing waste, and various food processing wastes. Dr. Nakhla has also developed process designs for various municipal wastewater treatment systems including the first Communal Biological Nutrient Removal System in Ontario. He’s working with other researchers on further development of a novel wastewater treatment system to provide the functions of organics removal, nitrification, denitrification, and solids removal in a single reactor.
Dr. Nakhla’s research activities in this area have significantly expanded to include optimization of biological treatment processes, process modeling, and use of biosurfactants to enhance performance of biological wastewater and sludge treatment processes. He has developed and patented a novel fluidized bed process for nutrient removal from municipal wastewaters. He has also patented a membrane bioreactor system for biological nutrient removal from wastewaters. Recent research projects focus on membrane fouling, advanced oxidation pretreatment of biosolids, anaerobic digestion of biosolids and food wastes, and biological hydrogen generation from industrial wastes and leachates.
KEYWORDS: municipal and industrial wastewater treatment, biological nutrient removal, leachate treatment, treatment process modeling, treatment process optimization, hazardous wastes biotreatment, in-situ bioremediation, activated carbon adsorption.